Friday Linkage

I came home from my holidays Monday. Apparently I cannot leave the UK for seven days before the place is going to hell in a handbag as I have been rushed off my feet ever since returning. I'd share details but nobody really needs to hear me whine about my mountain of work! Denmark was lovely - absolutely lovely - and I want to share some of the highlights with you. There will be knitting involved (of course there will) but there will also be some tales of history and culture. Before I do so in a series of posts, let me just link some of the things I've read/seen/enjoyed on the internet over the past few days..

Why the Overlap?

A good friend of mine, Emme, went to her knitting group the other day and noticed something (link in Danish): there is a huge overlap between knitters & people who read scifi/fantasy. She notes that Ravelry has at least 65 groups dedicated to fantasy but has just two groups for Copenhagen knitters. And Emme is really surprised by this overlap between scifi/fantasy-reading and knitting: "I don't get it". My first thought? "It's a geek thing." Emme responded to say that my response was a cop-out, it had to be something a bit more profound.  And so I'd like to ask you, dear readers, why this overlap between scifi & fantasy geeks and knitters?

(From my own observations, there are also huge overlaps called "librarians & knitting" and "GLBT-orientation & knitting", but we'll have those discussions another day..)

I like reading books, full stop. I like imagination. I like books that take our mundane lives and turn them inside out; books that take our world and expand upon it. Many of my favourite books tend towards the speculative end of the spectrum with a healthy dollop of misanthropy and dystopia. And I'm horrifyingly entertained by dragons, airships, and ray guns (not necessarily in the same book).

And I knit.

And I think it has to do with imagination and creative space. Knitting is just a ball of string which you loop together in a manner which you find pleasing. You can have an entire jumper in a ball of wool: it's bigger on the inside, if you like. You can knit optical illusions, crochet ray guns and buy steampunk-themed patterns. And make your own chainmail, of course. All these things that you can create yourself whilst playing with numbers and watching Game of Thrones - what's not to like?

(Or could it just be that fantasy/scifi happen to be very, very popular genres?)

Stuff & Nonsense

Despite myself, I went to a gig yesterday to see this man and his new band, Pajama Club. Okay, so it is a bad photo. I was a bit too busy enjoying myself to worry too much about photographs.

Basically, I was in the third row dead-centre in a small club watching my favourite musician play new music that wasn't actually all that bad (unlike last time I saw him). Not a patch on my favourite stuff from his hand, but stuff I would actually like to listen to some more..

.. and somewhere along the way I managed to pull a muscle in my back. I think I'm getting old.

Knitterly Musings & Some Links

I have spending considerable time trying to figure out what to knit for the forthcoming winter. The last two winters have been terribly cold and I want to make things that'll keep me both cosy and relatively stylish. A bit of a tall order as I tend towards wearing five layers in the midst of winter! Pinterest has been a huge help in figuring out what to knit. I have a board called Oh, You Pretty Things! (guess why) where I pin clothes and jewellery that catch my eye. I have been fairly ruthless, so while it is not a huge selection what I have pinned really captures my taste. And so I measure all my thoughts and ideas about winter knits against that board.

Having the board helps when I fall in love with knitting patterns that are really outwith the rest of my wardrobe (or what I'm trying to steer my wardrobe towards). I am hugely in love with Wilhelmina, for instance. I love the colours, the shape, and the reindeers. And it goes with absolutely nothing I own.

Would you still knit a cardigan even if it didn't go with anything in your own wardrobe? Or am I missing a fashion trick and Wilhemina does actually work with what I perceive as my style? Yes, I need your honest opinion.

I'll return to my winter knit search, so here are some random linkage for you to ponder:

    Boom! Boom! Chaka! Chaka!

    This is one of my favourite weeks of the year: the Eurovision Song Contest week. For my non-European readers, imagine American Idol with 45 different countries competing. Then add xenophobia, bad blood, neighbourly love, dubious ethnic costumes, weird instruments, and mangled lyrics. The combination is oddly compelling. The first semi-finale took place yesterday with the second one happening tomorrow and the finale is on Saturday. Here are some selected highlights:

    (* I have heaps of ideas of who to represent the UK at the ESC. Alexandra Burke, Little Boots and The Saturdays would be fabulous if completely unlikely competitors.)

    Just to finish off, some of my recent ESC favourites: Turkey 2008Bosnia & Herzegovia 2008 (which included knitting ladies!), Romania 2006 and France 2007. For sheer WTF-ness, try Azerbaijan 2008. For cuddliness, try Norway 2009 (which won).

    And Sweden 1983 which spawned a life-long Eurovision love.

    Shiny Special One

    Happy birthday, dear Darth Ken. The Buffy to my Xander. The Rosenkrantz to my Guildenstern.  The Han Solo to my Chewbacca. The Kirk to my Scotty. My most frequent blog commentator.

    (Somewhere in my vault, I have a photo of Darth Ken wearing crushed velvet and a Plaster of Paris grotesque half-mask . In the same photo I am wearing black sparkly lipstick, a bodice constructed out of a pair of leggings and a velvet skirt. Man, the mid-90s were really scary. That photo will never see the light of day).